Law enforcement practice drill at Adrienne Arsht Center

MIAMI (WSVN) - A performing arts center in Downtown Miami was swarmed by police and fire rescue trying to stop a shooter during a disaster drill.

Officials said they are focused on worst case scenarios where gunfire erupts in the presence of thousands of people.

For their training, an air landing was one of their best options to get SWAT to a suspect who apparently barricaded himself inside. “It’s their responsibility to go ahead and neutralize and mitigate the situation,” said Miami-Dade Police Maj. Arturo Loynaz.

The initial call is an active shooter situation with hostages that needed an immediate response. “It gets your heart pumping,” said Ken Harris, Vice President of Operations at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

Miami-Dade Police along with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Miami Police and Customs and Border Patrol all worked together to execute a life-saving plan at the Adrienne Arsht Center, a popular venue that often welcomes thousands of people into its two buildings. “If we’re fully activated, we could have over 4,000 people here on campus,” Harris said.

Inside, officials used retrofitted Glocks and plastic training rounds that on impact will release a bright colored material. Still, the impact can do some damage, so the victims also wore helmets. “We have the officers that are able to engage in these simulations and make it as real as possible,” Loynaz said.

The Arsht Center’s security cameras picked up the action at its multiple entrances even before the drill began.

The tactical teams geared up at the Margaret Pace Park nearby. It’s a visual that serves as a reminder to us all about what could happen and how being “prepared” can change an outcome. “We definitely will tighten things up,” Harris said.

“We’re trying to get ahead of the curve, tactically, realizing this is a dangerous world, and we’re trying to be ready for any situation that arises,” Loynaz said.

Organizers said they’ll now go back to the drawing board to look at deficiencies, strengths and lessons learned about protocol and equipment.

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